Starting Over in 2017

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I woke up with a burst of energy this morning. Of course, instead of getting ready for work, I used that energy to lounge on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand while I watched The Americans.

I’ve spent the last few weeks binging three seasons of The Americans. Before that, I spent my time watching a new Netflix show, The OA. Before that sci-fi whirlwind, I watched another Netflix show, Lovesick, a romantic comedy about two friends stuck in a will they or won’t they situation.

Although I enjoy watching a thrilling new show, I realize now that I need to take a step back and reevaluate my life. I can’t live vicariously through television forever.

It’s now 2017 and President-elect Trump will soon take office. As terrifying as that may be, it cannot prevent me from moving forward and remaining positive. I want to take the energy that I woke up with and direct it toward something productive, something meaningful.

2016 was a difficult year for me. I was hospitalized twice due to mental illness. I missed work to attend an intensive outpatient program. I quit one job, started another, and then quit that job. I quit drinking and started again.

Yesterday, I participated in a conversation on Twitter about starting over. The host of the chat asked the participants if there is anything that we’re leaving behind in 2016. I replied that I want to leave behind negative self-talk.

I am often overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts that are extremely negative and self-hating. The thoughts just pop into my head without warning. In 2017, I want to try harder to combat these thoughts with positive self-talk.

I also want to leave behind feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt. I am a good person, worthy of love and friendship. I try my best, but sometimes my mental illness prevents me from succeeding. Going forward, I want to recognize that I am simply doing my best. I want to give myself credit for that instead of insisting that I could be doing more.

There are also some activities that I need and want to continue doing in 2017. I need to continue to regularly take my medication and go to therapy. I want to continue to write for this blog and (hopefully!) other publications.

There are also activities that I wanted to do in 2016, but ended up spending too much time fixated on TV instead. I do not regret how I spent my time. I’m just going to try to manage my time better this year.

I want to exercise for the sake of my mental health. My goal is to find an activity that I enjoy, such as yoga, and make it a part of my weekly routine. I also want to read and track the number of books that I’ve read. Perhaps I will even write reviews of each book. I am starting with The Circle by Dave Eggers and I’m very excited to devour it.

A new year means a fresh start. My main goal for 2017 is to prioritize my mental health. I will do that by being open about how I’m feeling and engaging in activities that are positive. Cheers to 2017!

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